Between the Lines: Newspapers should look up

Times are hard in the newspaper business - something of which there was plenty of evidence this week.

Readers of the Financial Times will have noticed its Companies & Markets section had been folded into the main paper this month, a move attributed to cost-cutting. The two strong sections go a long way to justifing the FT's steep £1 cover price, so it is a disappointing move.

The same reason explains Associated Newspapers' decision to change the pink business pages of the Evening Standard to white. It's no small decision: the paper fought the FT in court to retain the right to print on pink in 1990.

Meanwhile, over at News International, Stefano Hatfield has been hired to look at new ventures. The most likely is that he will investigate the launch of a freesheet (page 1).

News International is behaving with the kind of confidence that comes from being a part of the cash-rich Murdoch empire. Innovation is what will carry newspapers out of the doldrums, not cost-cutting.